The female cycle is a complex process that accompanies a woman throughout her reproductive life. It spans approximately 28 to 32 days and can be divided into two main phases with four stages: Menstruation, the Follicular Phase, Ovulation, and the Luteal Phase.
Menstruation is part of the Follicular Phase and marks the beginning of the cycle. During this time, the uterine lining is shed, leading to the monthly period. In the Follicular Phase, a follicle containing an egg matures, and at the same time, the hormone level (estrogen) rises, preparing the body for a potential pregnancy.
Ovulation marks the end of the Follicular Phase. The mature egg is released from the ovary and is available for fertilization for up to 18 hours. Estrogen hormone reaches its peak at this point.
After ovulation, the Luteal Phase begins. The empty follicle transforms into the corpus luteum and starts producing progesterone, a hormone that prepares the uterine lining for potential implantation. If pregnancy does not occur, hormone levels decrease towards the end of the Luteal Phase, leading to menstruation and the start of a new cycle.
The cycle is regulated by a complex interplay of hormonal changes that can influence not only reproduction but also mood, energy levels, and overall well-being. Tracking the cycle can help women better understand their bodies and promote their general well-being.